Thursday, February 2, 2017

Carpe Diem #1142 Honshu, the "main island"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Well our journey has started and today we will go on with our journey through the land of the rising sun. We have arrived on the airport of Tokyo on the so called "main Island" Honshu. It's the biggest Island of Japan and on this part the most Japanese people live. It is here were we will encounter the ancient and the modern times of Japan.
Tokyo is the technology capital of the world, here the magic happens according to all technology we know nowadays. Tokyo is one big advertorial ... look at the following image:

Tokyo scene
lights screaming
buy me buy me buy me -
a Nightingale sings

© Chèvrefeuille

Tokyo is really a town of the world. If we look back in time than we see a very different country. Japan was a very closed country several centuries ago. It was inhabited far back in time. First signs of life in Japan are known from the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age (50.000-10.000 years ago).
The first written mention of Japan is in Chinese history texts from the 1st century AD. Influence from other regions, mainly China, followed by periods of isolation, particularly from Western Europe, has characterized Japan's history. From the 12th century until 1868, Japan was ruled by successive feudal military shoguns who ruled in the name of the Emperor.

In Basho's time, the 17th century there were in a way warm relations between my country (The Netherlands) and Japan, so we have already a relationship with Japan over more than 350 years. Maybe that's why in my country there are so many lovers of Japanese culture, not only haiku or tanka, but also sume-i, ikebana and origami.

Maybe you can remember these haiku by Basho:

even the captain
bows down before
the lord of spring

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)
the captain and
the flowers have come
on a saddled horse

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)
(The post on CDHK were these haiku were used you can find here.)
 Japan a modern country with a rich history, a history they cherish, because Japan is not only the present, but also the past and the future.

For this (belated) episode I love to challenge you to create haiku or tanka in which you bring ancient and modern together as for example Shiki did:

first steam train
smoke whirls
after the passage of a train -
young foliage

© Masaoka Shiki

From my archives:

under the full moon
the screech of a steam engine -
cherry blossoms shiver

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until February 7th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our new episode later on.

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